Monday 15 June 2009
Anthony Bailey tests out this reissue of a classic trend router
The T5 has gone through several revisions improving its handling and safety, this is I think version number three. Is it better or more of the same?
The existing T5 models consist of the 'basic' version at 850 watts with a simple shielded push up and down switch 'ELU' style (the now defunct but respected brand of router on which newer 'clone' models are based) and the 'safety switch' Mark 2 version that is more suited to router table mounting. So this is the T5E Version 2.0, slightly confused, like me?
The first crucial item is the 1010watt motor that has been shoehorned into the same size casing giving a significant power boost to an already powerful machine. It is of course electronically controlled giving even speed under load as well as speed selection for different size cutters or types of material.
The next change is the switch which compared to previous versions is comparatively small and is shaped to a shallow tip which seemed on first trying in the office, to be a little awkward. However when I started using the T5 in the workshop on an actual job it was natural enough although a fingernail tip helps to operate it.
The spindle lock is a much more solid sophisticated affair with a large red 'dished' push button to operate it.
The two grip knobs now sport rubber coating much the way that so many powertools do today. This eliminates a long standing but minor irritant of the ridge-line moulding on the shiny knobs caused by the mould where it's closed during manufacture.
The fence assembly has a lot more flat casting designed to try and contain dust under the machine rather than ejecting out at all at the fence side.
Speaking of extraction, since the beginning the dust spout could only be clipped in from one side, now with a casting alteration you can now choose either side. The plastic clips firmly into position and can be released with a bit of pressure from the side perhaps using an implement like a screwdriver to apply enough force.
A last but significant little feature is the speed thumbwheel which now projects enough so that it is easier to turn than before.